Democrat Says School Choice Advocates are ‘Raping’ Children

Lena Taylor. Photo by LjlPhotography.

The Republican-led Wisconsin State Legislature has been steadily working to include several school-choice-related measures in the 2015–17 biennial budget, and not everyone is happy about it.

During a round of emotionally charged meetings held by the legislature’s Joint Committee on Finance, state Rep. Dale Kooyenga (R-Brookfield) outlined his proposed school reforms, which include a plan that would allow the takeover of up to five of Milwaukee’s worst-performing schools per year, according to the MacIver Institute. Those schools would then be transformed into private schools or charter schools, forcing all teachers to reapply for their positions.

Other proposed school reform measures include expanding school choice and requiring students to pass a civics test prior to graduation.

After the announcement of the proposed reforms, state Sen. Lena Taylor (D-Milwaukee) lashed out at those proposing the reforms, accusing Kooyenga of thinking of himself as a “great white hope” for minority students in the Milwaukee Public School (MPS) system and linking the proposed reforms to rape.

“For years, individuals who sit on this committee and in this building have known that they have been raping the children of MPS,” said Taylor.

Kooyenga responded, saying, “This is the second time in the conversation of these issues … that we use the word ‘rape.’ I mean I just find that sick, absolutely sick.”

“I get it,” Taylor responded. “The word ‘rape’ sounds offensive, but when you consider the fact that 15 out of 100 kids can read on grade level while $89 million have been skimmed from the education of kids, and that you don’t invest it, in even the crisis areas, who are you fooling?”

Taylor also referred to the proposal to require students to pass a civics exam as analogous to Jim Crow laws.


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Lena Taylor. Photo by LjlPhotography.